IP services rank as top network services investment priority

8 July 2003 London Lightwave Europe--Nearly 70% of information technology decision-makers from 90 European multinationals believe the No. 1 investment priority for them in the coming year will be IP services, according to a customer survey from Equant.

- Most European multinationals in survey expect spending on data services to increase

8 July 2003 London--Nearly 70% of information technology decision-makers from 90 European multinationals believe the No. 1 investment priority for them in the coming year will be IP services, including IP VPNs and IP Telephony, according to a customer survey by Equant.

Equant, a key player in global IP and data services to multinational businesses, polled the wide-ranging group of senior managers from major European multinationals on their plans and priorities.

Their second most important investment priorities are security services, and data services such as frame relay, ATM and LAN access.

More than half of the respondents ranked quality of service as the most important consideration when choosing a data communications provider - more important than price, financial stability and customer service. Other key findings were that 25% expect network services spending to remain unchanged, and only 20%foresee cuts.

The survey also revealed that more than 55% of those surveyed expect their investment in network services to increase over the next fiscal year and 25% expected the investment level to remain the same.

The financial and public sector companies are expected to be the biggest spenders, with 67% of financial services organizations expecting an increase in budget. Of the public sector organizations surveyed, none predicted network services spending reductions.

When splitting the results by region, Benelux businesses were most optimistic, with 90% of companies forecasting a budget increase. And 75% of both French and Nordic businesses were optimistic about increased expenditures on network services.

"This poll confirms Equant's strategy of providing customers superior quality of service and market-leading IP solutions," said Howard Ford, president, Markets and Sales, Equant.

"In recent weeks, some of our largest corporate customers, including Electrolux IT Solutions, JTI and Sea Containers, have made public their plans to develop global IP-based networks. The business and technical cases for running voice and data over IP are clear, and the focus now is on putting the infrastructure in place as soon as possible to reap the benefits."

Equant is an industry leader in global data and IP network and integration services for multinational businesses. Its network has seamless reach, connecting key business centres in 220 countries and territories, with local support in more than 165 countries.

With more than 50 years of experience in data communications, Equant serves thousands of the world's top companies with the industry's most extensive portfolio of managed network services, including the market-leading IP VPN used by 800 global businesses as of May 2003.

Equant, a member of the France Telecom Group, was named Best Global Carrier 2002 at the World Communication Awards and consistently leads industry surveys in corporate user satisfaction.

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